Welsh farmers fear being ‘sold down the river’ over UK Government deal with New Zealand
Opportunities for Welsh farmers from a new post-Brexit trade deal with New Zealand would be “extremely limited” and the industry should not be “sold down the river” by the UK Government, according to a Welsh farming union.
The UK and New Zealand free trade deal is said to be worth over £2.3 billion in 2020, with the figure likely to increase as a result of a wide-ranging trade deal.
But FUW Vice President Dai Miles said that Welsh farmers could suffer if the UK is “exposed to potentially very cheap imports with no way of controlling their volume or price”.
“Reciprocal trade will be restricted to very niche and specialist goods, and with a population on the other side of the world that’s lower than that of Scotland and just 7% of the UK population, opportunities in New Zealand are extremely limited.”
Whilst the exact details of the free trade agreement with New Zealand have not yet been published by the UK Government, Dai Miles added that they should not concerns by the industry in regard to the free trade agreement with Australia.
“Members of Parliament need to ensure that when it comes to such trade deals, the long term interests of the UK are protected,” he said.
“If the Australia trade deal is anything to go by, then our industry has every right to be concerned about a viable future. Comments made about consumers benefiting from cheap food products are nothing but smoke and mirrors.
“The value of developing existing and seeking new markets for all UK products, including our food, is of course recognised, but this must not be done at the cost of the long term viability of Wales’ food and farming industries, the environment and animal health and welfare standards.
“Our dairy industry must not be sold down the river alongside our quality red meat industry.”